Cherry Blossom in Shillong
Cherry Blossom in ShillongShutterstock

All About The Cherry Blossom Festival In Shillong

R&B musician Ne-Yo, English DJ Jonas Blue, and DJ Kenny Musik will be performing in India for the first time at the festival

Shillong, located in the rolling hills of the northeastern state of Meghalaya, is an enchanting gem that has been an all-time favourite among travellers. This lovely hill station, known as the "Scotland of the East," provides a unique blend of rich culture, lush landscapes, and bustling urban life. There is much to appreciate in Meghalaya, but nothing compares to seeing the state blanketed in pink hues as cherry blossoms take over.

The capital city of Meghalaya dons hues of pink and purple as it gets ready to play host to another edition of the Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival. Aimed to promote music, art, and culture while paying ode to the ethereal beauty of the flowers that bring many a traveller to the eastern state, the festival also acts as a platform for artists to congregate and collaborate. The Cherry Blossom Festival saw its first chapter in 2016 and has been held every year since.

There will be lots of musical performances
There will be lots of musical performances@cherryblossomfest/Instagram

What's On Offer

The Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival will be held from November 17 to 19. The event will debut an incredible headliner line-up as well as an exciting all-new multi-stage layout at Shillong's magnificent RBDSA Sports Complex. Prepare for a musical spectacle as the festival features an extraordinary lineup of musicians that will take the stage. The headliners at the Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival 2023 include internationally acclaimed sensations such as Ne-Yo, the Grammy Award-winning R&B artist, Irish singer Ronan Keating, English DJ and music producer Jonas Blue, Taiwan-based Brazilian DJ Kenny Musik, Sanam, SURL, Pink Panda, and an array of talents such as Meba Otilia, Lou Majaw, and Blue Temptation.

The festival is more than just music. From the Miss and Mr Cherry Blossom Pageant, where the essence of beauty and elegance will be recognised, to graffiti and art installation contests, which will transform the festival grounds into an open-air art gallery, and a karaoke contest, there is something for everyone.

The Sound Of Choir Music

Do not miss the choir competition at the festival. Choir singing is a way of life in several states in the northeast which has a rich musical heritage, whether through renowned bands and performers or generations-old choirs. In July 2023, the Nagaland Chamber Choir (TNCC), regarded as Nagaland's oldest professional choral organisation, accomplished a remarkable feat by winning two gold medals at the 12th World Choir Games in Gangneung, South Korea.

For Adventurous Souls

A ferris wheel will be available for a stunning perspective of the event grounds and the city. If you're looking for an adrenaline rush, try the zipline, which will take you soaring through the festival atmosphere, providing a thrilling experience like no other. The festival will also host adventure sports and games such as rock climbing, archery, golf, cycling, and more.

A view of Shillong from Don Bosco Museum, situated at Mawlai, Shillong.
A view of Shillong from Don Bosco Museum, situated at Mawlai, Shillong.Ankan/WikiCommons

Other Activities

There will be food and beverage kiosks selling local specialities, wine, beer, and Japanese and Korean cuisine at the festival. You can sign up for art and craft classes as well as exhibitions of local craftsmen' goods and paintings. Storytelling sessions and literary events involving prominent authors and poets from Meghalaya and other regions of India will be part of the event. You may also join heritage walks and guided tours to learn more about Shillong and Meghalaya's history and culture.

Apart from the cherry blossoms, Shillong packs quite a punch with majestic landscapes, great cafes and an amazing rock music scene. Check here for a guide to the city. Check out our article on offbeat destinations to visit in and around Shillong.

The Information

The Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival will take place at the RBDSA Sports Complex, Shillong, from November 17 – 19.

Buy tickets here.

More information here.

Getting There

Guwahati, which is 100 km away, is the nearest railhead to Shillong. Shillong airport at Umroi connects to Kolkata; otherwise, the nearest major airport is Guwahati. Shillong's bus station is in the city centre, and there are daily bus connections to Guwahati.

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